I’m Fifty (For my brother Harry)

I’m Fifty     (for my brother Harry)

I just turned fifty and it’s giving me the sh**ts
I never thought I’d see it; always thought that I’d be fit
But one day down in the gym while making myself buff
I dropped the bloody barbell and recovery’s been rough
I couldn’t play my tennis and for months I felt quite sad
I couldn’t ride my pushbike through the forest like I had
And fast approaching fifty is a place that most men dread
So planned a trip to England to the motherland instead
With a list of things I love to do  I ticked them one by one
Land’s End, a backwards clock and a day at Wimbledon
I took a photo at the Beatles crossroad there at Abbey Road
But I never bought a souvenir ’cause you know I hate a load
Well, I made it down to Gravesend but I didn’t stay too long
‘Cause the cops were serving warrants and they said “Now, move along!”
So I hopped across the channel to visit France and gay Parie’
Then raced a Ferrari across Dubai in my Ray Bans speedily
But if I should die before my time just throw me from the bridge
At Tharwa near the crossing there take a Crownie from my fridge
Don’t forget my last request from me with you before I go
Ensure that you cremate me first before you make that final throw

The Seven Deadly Sins

There’s Seven Deadly Sins you know but I had to Google them on-line
And there they were in black and white so now I’ll take the time
To share with you the secrets of this very important list
I’ll check them one by one with you just in case you’re a hedonist!

The first is LUST considered by some as the most deadly sin of man
To say the word out loud makes me blush; oh please pass me a fan!
Intense desire (not only for sex) it could be money, power or fame
Put Dante’s Purgatorio‘s unforgiven souls into a fiery pit of flame
But thankfully the antidote to lust is CHASTITY, for sure
But I don’t know where the key to my belt went….
Maybe it fell through a crack in the floor?

The second GLUTTONY is not so bad, or so it seems to me
My love of chocolate quickly consumed ever so greedily
But over consumption to the point of waste is what they’re trying to teach
Hopefully to share your lot around and not keep others out of reach

For gluttony is selfish and this tendency to sin
Will see your selfishness unrewarded for not letting others in
The antidote is TEMPERANCE; I can hear your feeble moans
But the only Temperance that I recall is the scientist in “Bones”

The third is GREED also known as avarice (now I had to look that up)
It’s the sin of excess, cupidity or covetousness, to overflow your cup
So don’t amass great piles of things and be careful of possessions
Or you’ll possibly compromise any chance you have of getting into Heaven
So someone kindly put a lock onto my password on eBay
And cut up all my credit cards and throw my cheques away
For here my cure is CHARITY; I’ve heard of her before
I’ll endeavour to keep my ear out when she’s knocking at my door

Number four is SLOTH which can be interpreted two ways
Defined as physical or spiritual laziness to the very end of days
But sloth to me I visualise a lazy creature up in a tree
Which I can assure you now is not at all like me
For I attack the things I do at a very rapid rate
Perhaps it’s time for DILIGENCE to help me to compensate
This sin perhaps throughout my life has most affected me
But just in action, not in words and never spiritually

Five is WRATH a nasty one, of hatred, anger and rage
The sin that hurts us all with spite at any tender age
For someone who is hard of heart is just no fun at all
Their cutting words of revenge, jealousy and anger will befall
PATIENCE here will rescue you with her capacity for calm endurance
Tolerance and understanding wipes self-destructiveness; I give you my assurance

ENVY comes at number six characterised by insatiable desire
She’s the one you’ve got to watch, she leaves your heart on fire!
For envy only poisons you and makes you “sorrow for another’s good”
You’re not supposed to wish you house looked like another in your ‘hood
KINDNESS will relieve you here and make you see for sure
In confession acceptance is the way to go to see you through the door

And here we are at number seven PRIDE the final sin of all
The one the old saying tells you will come before a fall
It’s the most deadly sin of all, the one that consumes us the most
And keeps us further from the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Ghost
HUMILITY’S your virtue here to save you from the fire
To cast out all your selfish thoughts, to this you must aspire

So now you know the Yin and Yang, I’ve explained to you the list
I hope you listened carefully and there’s nothing that you missed
‘Cause you only get one go at it when living out your life
And walking in the sinner’s shoes will get you into strife
So choose your path with carefulness and come along with me
But could you kindly let me know if you find my little key?


Did you know that Dalmatian puppies are born white? When they are first born and they are still wet from the mother’s birthing process, you can see the spots on their skin but as they are licked clean by the mum and they start to warm up, the fur brightens up and the spots disappear into the coat. Except of course for patch puppies. A patch is a big spot, mostly located on the head of the pup; the pup is born with this big spot and it is there forever. Sometimes puppies can have a double patch! Patch puppies are not able to be shown as a patch is considered to be a ‘fault’ in the show ring.   They usually sell first though! The spots begin to appear through the coat and by the time the puppy is about two weeks old you can see how nicely spotted it is.

I bred and showed Dalmatians in Australia for twenty years (1981-2001) although I wasn’t very good at showing! My Kennel name was  Luckywood Dalmatians and I registered 38 puppies during that time.

Lisa Ride with Luckywood Dalmatians about 1992
Lisa Ride with Luckywood Dalmatians about 1992
Luckywood Ace Ospades at the Canberra Royal early 1990's.
Luckywood Ace Ospades at the Canberra Royal early 1990’s.


The Golden Mile

The Golden Mile

There is a place in Hong Kong
Some call The Golden Mile
I never should have stopped there
Or even paused a while
An Aussie made me do it
She said “Just come and look”
She should have known me better
For now I’m feeling crook

I’m waiting by my letterbox
In case the postman comes
‘Cause my Visa statement’s coming
And I’ve really come undone
You see at The Golden Mile
The Lady’s name is Sal
She greets you very warmly
And tells you she’s your pal

There’s a glass of cool iced water
And for my aching legs, a stool
Sal’s certainly got lots of jewelry
The kind that makes you drool
I sat and stared and looked around
My friend had been before
Her hands adorned with diamond rings
Good God! She’s buying more!

But Sal knows what she’s doing
She’s waiting for that hint
And when that sapphire hit the counter
My eyes gave off that glint
I never should have bought it
But I couldn’t put it down
Now I own the biggest ring
They’ve seen in my small town

So next time when an Aussie
Living in Hong Kong
Says “Let’s go look at jewelry,
You really can’t go wrong.”
Don’t forget that when you
Have to go back home
That your husband will be waiting
And you Visa statement’s grown

Bunnings Albury

Bunnings Albury

I like to shop at Bunnings Albury and walk among the rows
There’s everything that you could want, as everybody knows
From builder’s hardware, wood and nails- to paint and plants and screws
You’re sure to find it as you shop, you really just can’t lose

Men go to hide there from their wives and keep the kids at bay
They love to chat between the rows on any weekend day
The tool shop in the centre is their favourite place to be
But it’s covered in by walls and screens for extra security

But ladies please don’t feel left out among those Bunnings aisles
No need to join eHarmony, just hang around a while
The fixings aisle in number ten is where you need to be
Just look perplexed and pick your mark: “Please, can you help me?”

But my favourite place is up the back between rows fifty five and six
It’s where they put the end of lines and bits they just can’t fix
You may not need that plastic tub, that paint pot, torch or fan
But geez it’s great to get a bargain when you’re a handyman

There are many things I’d like to buy- that outdoor garden setting
A water feature (with the lion’s head) and simply not forgetting
That lovely kitchen up the back that makes mine look quite drab
But I avoid the cleaning aisle where they sell OMO, Ajax and FAB.

Last week I came to isle twenty nine to buy poison for my ceiling
I got Ratsack; Talon and Big Cheese- mice find it quite appealing
I’ll put it all up in my roof and hope the little rascals disappear
My friend says my mouse plague is my penalty for living by Albury’s weir

Customer service is always helpful and there are leaflets as a guide
And a very knowledgeable gardener where the plants are kept outside
And as I exit out the door I’m sure that there will be
The aroma of a sausage zizzle to raise money for charity

But if you’re from Wodonga and you shop at Bunnings there
And you come across the border, well, you’d better be beware
For Bunnings in Wodonga is built the wrong way round
‘Cause the builder had a bad day and the plans were upside down

So aisle one is twenty four and twenty two is three
And the plants are sitting on the side of where the wood should be
I do hope that builder didn’t build the Tax Office in our town
Or sadly all the penny-pinchers will be sitting underground!



The Fabric Stash

I have a little problem
It’s called my fabric stash
My husband doesn’t know it
But it cost a lot of cash

It started out as remnant pieces
I bought from a shop
But then became addictive
And I really couldn’t stop

Fat eighths became fat quarters
Two metres became three
But when I purchased a whole bolt
I sought psychiatry

I just can’t pass your patchwork shop
I have to come and see
If there is any missing piece
Inside your shop for me

So hubby starts to realize
One fabric cupboard becomes two
He keeps me from your patchwork shop
To keep our marriage true

So I sit at my computer
While I’m banished to the house
But he’ll have to hide my credit card
‘cause I can click a mouse!

Well, there isn’t any answer
To this tale of fabric woe
For this hobby is delightful
And your fabric stash will grow

Just remember the old saying
As you purchase with a grin
“She who dies with the most fabric
……….. will win!”

Remember the Australian Soldier

Remember the Australian Soldier

I am an Australian soldier; I stand tall and proud and true
I train and fight for freedom; I honour my country and protect you
Established in the Sudan and Boer I’ve always done you proud
With Volunteers and Regiments from Federation to conflicts now

The First World War (sheer tragedy) we lost too many men
And the women who supported- the nurses who cared for them
From our fateful landing upon the ANZAC Cove
The mateship that we honour is bound by all we know

To the Aussie soldier courage, teamwork & initiative are barely but a start
For professionalism, loyalty and innovation are clearly in our heart
From World War II and wars beyond, from Vietnam to peace keeping today
Australian soldiers are deployed around the globe from their families far away

And I know each soldier joins the ranks because they feel it too
It’s the spirit of the Aussie digger; it’s what we call true blue
But contact front can take a life, a new name to cast upon the wall
In bronze to forever commemorate another loss too great to call

Recently we lost Russell, Pearce, Locke and Wood
McCarthy, Lambert, Marks
And forty-one names for me to me to recite
Please keep them in your hearts

For green on blue is not the way a soldier’s meant to die
For any loss of life through war is hard to justify
And those returning still live the hell, the smells, sights, sounds and fear
That follow them in dreams and thoughts; some take them to despair

Sadly the number of soldiers affected by PTSD who are taking their own lives
Are far outweighed by the names cast in bronze, those men we highly prize
This growing toll also sacrificed so that we may live in peace today
Please stand tall and proud to honour that gift; God bless their souls I pray

Give strength to those who loved them best as we remember them always
We will honour their ANZAC spirit to the very end of days
But in life’s passing their mateship is still here with you; I believe it’s standing by your side
I ask that you remember the Australian soldier
With love and hope and pride

Note:          If your loved one’s name appears in my poem, I have done so with the greatest of respect.

RIP fine soldier.

I would be honoured if you read my poem at any ANZAC Day service, Remembrance Day or other service as appropriate.

A few years ago I wrote to Mark Knight requesting permission to reproduce his cartoon with my poem, and he posted back to me that it was fine to do so. His incredible cartoon represented exactly what I was trying to convey in my poem. Mark, if you don’t want your cartoon here, please let me know and I will remove it.